My daughter loves water. She gets it from her dada. She loves swimming in it, playing with it, even drinking it. She also loves pouring it out on the floor. We try to curb this. We are not often successful.
She has learned that in the pool she can fill measuring cups with water and then dump it out. She dumps it out on the deck or back into the pool. So recently I had what I thought was a great idea of bringing her baby tub into the kitchen while I was making lunch and having her fill her cups with water and dump them back into the tub. Problem was that she kept dumping it on the towels and eventually the tub was empty. She kept handing me the cups and I’d refill them and put some in the tub. But sure enough, the tub would be empty again in minutes. This was not my best idea. It made me think about the futility of life… as do most of my toddler’s activities.
I saw someone post this recently and it was really quite profound though simple.
How will your heart be full? How will your soul feel understood? Like a child wanting something but not being able to verbalize it, I often think of what it will take for my soul to feel full and complete, to feel understood and cared about, to feel comforted, rested, joyful, content. And like the author of this photo, I wonder if such a soul-location exists. I wonder if it’s something that we can achieve in life. We run from one event to the next, thinking, “Ok, this is gonna be fun.” And when it’s over, we are already planning on the next entertaining thing. Or if we are immature enough, we whine about the fact our tub is empty and throw the cups on the floor in a complete meltdown. What we are really saying is “That didn’t deliver.”
Or we look to other things to fill the gaps – spouses, kids, jobs, hobbies, entertainment. If we’re healthy about it all, we know that there isn’t any one thing that will satisfy all of our desires and so we learn to seek balance in life and appreciate each moment to its fullest. But even in the midst of a good life, and for all intents and purposes I have a great life, I can’t help but wonder why we all keep searching. It’s a little bit like scrolling through Facebook news feeds. What am I looking for? Why am I clicking on the things I click on? What makes me stop and LIKE something? What makes me happy, laugh, mad, sad, cringe?
I don’t know what you are searching for, or what you think you are searching. I don’t know your journey or what your soul responds to. But I do know what your soul is made for. I know what my soul was made for. And I know the many ways I’ve tried to fill it in, the bucket that exists in each of us. I kept pouring water in to the wrong places and finding myself empty again and again, and I’d do anything and everything to fill it, however temporarily, however painfully, just to avoid the meltdowns.
I’ll go one step further than the photo’s desire. Not only do I know a place where my soul is understood, I know a place where it is restored and made beautiful. I came to that place, not on my own. God knows I ran from that place for years, only to end up there kicking and screaming. But the profound beauty my soul found here made me wonder why I ran from it for so long. Well, I know why. I know it’s hard to believe. I know it’s a struggle to make sense of life. I know there are days, even still, when I don’t want to believe and trust in a God who really seems to make things more complicated than I think it should be. I know it seems that you can’t base a belief system on depravity and a need to be saved. It seems sadistic and cruel and controlling. But search all you like. Search high and low for that place you can rest your soul. Turn over all the leaves you like. If you look with all your heart, you will always find what you’re looking for. I firmly believe this. Whatever you find, it’s what your soul was really looking for. And this is what you parse out for yourself – do I really want what I found? Is my soul understood AND claimed here? Has my soul found its purpose?
Oh how I pray that you will find it. That yearning quenched is pure joy indeed. Like a child’s pure delight, released in giggles and squees, but the water never runs out and the cup is never emptied. May it be with your soul. In the meantime, I’ll be over here refilling the tub.